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Thread: Slow Weekend - Eastern Bay / Kent Narrows

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2017
    Location
    Clarksburg, MD
    Posts
    87

    Default Slow Weekend - Eastern Bay / Kent Narrows

    I launched shortly after daybreak on Friday and Saturday and only managed a bunch of short fish.

    Friday I fished eastern bay to what was forecast as mild winds out of the northeast and decent temps. At least they got the temps right. Needless to say after braving some sketchy 10-20kt induced waves out of the west for a couple hours, I packed it in and headed for more sheltered waters. Caught around 6 or 7 in the 15 - 18" range and a bunch smaller than that. Also caught a 12" flounder which was a Chesapeake first for me. It hit on a 1/4oz jighead with a 8" gulp eel on it. Still amazes me the size of things that fish will strike compared to their body size. Headed straight to a launch closer to kent narrows where the fishing wasn't any better but the sheltered waters made things tolerable. Caught a couple short flounder there as well as more short stripers.

    Saturday I went straight to Kent Narrows and gave it another go. Fishing was a bit better, but I was chased off my most productive grounds by the people at the yacht club. Apparently they were having a turkey shoot and the area south of the club was the best direction to shoot at. Don't know a thing about turkey shoots, but shooting anything into potentially occupied waters didn't strike me as the most intelligent thing to do. Aside from not getting shot, I managed to pick up a bunch of just short of legal fish that were nice and fat. Had my first double hookup as well. The amount of bait in the water was crazy. I was trolling and had to stop countless times to remove bunker that had managed to impale themselves on my paddletails.

    Now on to the "file this under fish tales" portion of my report. Managed to hook into what were easily the two biggest stripers I've ever hooked. Both were easily 30". You can also file this under I'm brand new to this type of fishing and have not a clue what I'm doing. I'm trolling a line on each side of me. Fish hits one side and I start reeling, boat spins that direction, the other trolled line wraps itself around the boat and the fish is nice enough to come say hi before he disappears as I try to untangle lines while landing a fish. This happened with both of my big fish. I'm in a paddle kayak so its either reel or paddle. Do I reel in the other line first? Drop depth charges to temporarily stun the hooked fish while I flounder above water? I'm sure there's a really obvious answer I just don't know, but holy %#^$& was it frustrating. Alan Battista's book cant be delivered fast enough.

    Anyway, also managed a 13" spec which was another Chesapeake first for me.

    Before it even started I marked this year off as a learning experience, but man, its still frustrating to lose quality fish to your own ineptitude. Good news is the area is chock full of nice fat fish ready to be caught.
    "Fish on a Dish" - 2017 Jackson Big Tuna

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Salisbury, MD
    Posts
    1,064

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    Sorry to hear about your lost fish. That's a tough pill to swallow. Trolling two rods is always a gamble, especially in a paddle kayak. I pedal so I cannot comment specifically on what I would do, but there are a few ideas I consider universal. First, staggering your lines can help. If you have one relatively close (maybe with a slightly heavier jig head to achieve the same depth) and one line way back, you lessen the risk of then crossing over one another when a fish hits one.

    When the fish hits, he is obviously behind you with both line stretched out. You will want to do everything you can to get vertical on the fish. Typically this means reeling right up to him as quickly as possible. A pedal kayak really helps here. Once the fish is beneath you and you are engaged in an up and down fight, he'll have less likelihood of crossing your second line (which is now outstretched behind you).

    I also try and keep the fish off the bow of the kayak, no more than a few feet off each side of the nose. Once he gets behind you, that is typically when things go bad quickly. Its about keeping control of the fish. Once a big fish gets going they are harder to stop, so keep on top of him.

    If these strategies still do not work, trolling one rod and catching fish is better than trolling two and losing fish!
    ___________________________

    Hobie Fishing Team Member
    Survival Products, Salisbury, MD

    2017 Camo Hobie Outback
    2015 Olive Hobie Outback

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2017
    Location
    Clarksburg, MD
    Posts
    87

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    Quote Originally Posted by RavensDfense View Post
    If these strategies still do not work, trolling one rod and catching fish is better than trolling two and losing fish!
    There's the really obvious answer that I was looking for. Funny how the simplest answer is something that never crossed my mind while I was out on the water.
    "Fish on a Dish" - 2017 Jackson Big Tuna

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2016
    Location
    Catonsville, MD
    Posts
    127

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    On my two best days this fall, trolling one rod was the most productive. Spent a lot less time messing with tangled lines, etc.
    Joe

    2016 Vibe Sea Ghost 130

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Posts
    3,868

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    I troll 3 lines in my paddle kayak (4 in my pedal kayak). All my lures are jigheads or bucktails with plastic tails. (If I trolled swimming plugs, I would only troll 1 or 2 rods). When using a paddle kayak and getting a fish on, the kayak tends to turn in the direction of that line. If the fish is not too large, you can make a few cranks on that line, lay the rod down between your legs, then make a few quick, paddle strokes to straighten out the kayak Usually the fish will still be on the line when you return to finish the job.

    This is particularly tough when you are paddling into the wind. Your forward momentum stops quickly when you stop paddling. The wind pushes you sideways and backwards over top of the other lines.

    If you hook a large fish, it is probably worth dealing with some tangles afterwards in order to concentrate on that fish and get it in. If I do get tangles, it may be quicker to cut and re-tie rather than trying to untangle a mess of tangled lines.

    When I hook a fish on the rear rod and the fish swims toward the front of the kayak, I may hold that rod up in the air with one hand and reposition the other rod in the front rod holder on that side to the rear rod holder. That gives me a clear sector in front of the kayak to finish fighting the fish.

    For me the biggest hassle with 3 or 4 lines is making sure that all lures are clean (no leaves or debris). This afternoon I found a lot of leaves floating on the water. I had to keep winding in frequently to check for impaled leaves.

    Don't be afraid to troll 2, 3, or 4 lines. It takes some practice but often pays dividends.
    John Veil
    Annapolis
    Native Watercraft Manta Ray 11 and Slayer Propel 10
    Member - Pro Staff team for Native Watercraft

    Author - "Fishing in the Comfort Zone" - light tackle fishing techniques for kayaks and small boats

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Pasadena, MD
    Posts
    2,853

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    I troll two lines in my pedal kayak and only one line thus far in my paddle kayak.

    I've never had a desire to troll more than two.

    When I got my first kayak, a pedal boat, I trolled only one line that year. My catch rate trolling did not and has not doubled in subsequent years when I've towed two lines. I think that's because I often troll two different baits in my pedal boat and fish usually show a lure preference on a given day. So for me two lines has never directly correlated to twice as many catches. I've wondered if those who troll multiple lines feel that their catch rate increases in direct proportion to the number of lines they use. I believe for me it wouldn't and therefore is not worth the added work of managing multiple rods and the increased risk of tangles.

    As to boat positioning when I troll two lines, I turn immediately toward the side that has the fish on the line. I ignore the unhooked line until I get the fish in and released.

    Making the turn is easier to do with the pedal boat by just hitting the rudder while pedaling. Then I pick up the rod with the fish on it and essentially play it perpendicular to my beam. The turning action and my leverage on the fish from the beam pulls the fish from the unattended line and usually stops it from tangling with that line.

    Even though I've trolled only with one line in my paddle boat, by habit I still turn the boat with my paddles toward the side on which I have placed the rod holder -- thus far my left gunnel. I find it easier to play the fish off the beam of the boat than reeling it in from behind me.

    I've had multiple double hookups when trolling two lines. When that happens I've always been in a pedal boat which makes the landing process easier. I still turn to one side and grab the rod on that side first. But I try to keep moving as I turn in a wide arc to apply pressure to the second line while I wind in the first line as quickly as I can. Nevertheless, I sometimes lose the unattended fish. I think that's inevitable.

    The secret there is to make sure you grab the rod with the biggest fish on it first...that was a joke.
    Mark

    Slate Hobie Revolution 13
    Hidden Oak Native Ultimate 12

    Author: The Simple Joys of Kayak Fishing (Tips and Tales From an Old Guy in His Plastic Boat)
    Available on Amazon.com

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Arnold, MD
    Posts
    2,678

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    If you find staggering the lines doesn't work then here's another option.

    Do you have a safe rod holder on your boat like a flush mount or locking scotty you trust? If so you can stick the rod in the rod holder to let rodney the rod holder do the work while you get your other line in. Just make sure you're not fishing a super tight drag or you risk having the rod get pulled out of the rod holder.
    Chesapeake Bay Kayak Anglers Co-Founder - www.chesapeakebaykayakanglers.com
    Hobie Local Kayak Fishing Team - Backyard Boats, MD


  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Odenton
    Posts
    819

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    Nice report!

    One thing that has helped me on occasion when trolling 2 rods is to keep paddling after the hook up instead of immediately grabbing the rod. This can allow you to get your kayak headed in the right direction to properly fight the fish like Mark was saying and avoid some tangles. A nice wide gradual turn away from the line without a fish on it seems to help create separation.

    I'm not sure what rod holders you are using but you can also give yourself a little more room for error by separating your lines more like redfish and ravensdefense said, not just forward and back but to the sides. Trolling with flush mounts usually results in the line just feet apart but if you have rod holders you trust you can put your rod tips out to the side as much as possible and gain some more separation.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Southern Maryland- Charles County
    Posts
    3,484

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    I built a PVC Rod holder system that holds 6 rods- 2 in trolling positions at a 45 degree angle, slightly forward right at my shoulders...I no longer use any other rod holders...love my PVC system...I keep my spare rods all rigged up behind me in the 4 vertical holders- and when a fish strikes I keep the kayak moving and take the rod out of the rod holder- like others have advised put the fish up front- not behind...steady pressure, no high sticking, fairly light drag...never give any slack...all equals a fish in the boat...
    "Lady Luck" 2016 Red Hibiscus Outback
    "Wet Dream" 2011 yellow Ocean Prowler 13

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2017
    Location
    Clarksburg, MD
    Posts
    87

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    Quote Originally Posted by Redfish12 View Post
    Do you have a safe rod holder on your boat like a flush mount or locking scotty you trust? If so you can stick the rod in the rod holder to let rodney the rod holder do the work while you get your other line in. Just make sure you're not fishing a super tight drag or you risk having the rod get pulled out of the rod holder.
    I've been using a flush mount on either side but I'm not too crazy about that set-up. From my seat position the flush mounts are a good 2ft behind me and I'm not crazy about the stretch every time I hook up. I've been experimenting with a RAM bazooka tube which I am liking so far. I currently have it set-up at 45° out and 45° up. My main concern was whether it would interfere with my paddle stroke and it doesn't appear that it will. I always have rod tethers on my trolled lines so I'm not worried about them coming out of the holder.

    I appreciate the advice everyone has offered. With the exception of trolling only one rod, I've tried most of the suggestions, but being new to everything, I wasn't sure if they would be considered best practices or if there was some magic solution I wasn't aware of.

    J.A. Veil - I have no issues cutting and re-tying a tangle. My wife's cousin will spend an hour untangling a line (to his credit, I haven't seen a tangle he couldn't untangle). Drives me bonkers. I don't get out nearly as often as I like and spending time on tangles is just wasted fishing time to me.
    Last edited by nhunter344; 10-25-2017 at 01:21 PM.
    "Fish on a Dish" - 2017 Jackson Big Tuna

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